338 E. Main St.
Johnson City, TN 37601
Title of the artwork: “Farmer Family”
Artists: Wendell Jones
When I arrived in Johnson City I headed over to the new post office building. I found myself asking a postal employee where the original building was located. It was difficult to follow the directions I was given. The one-way streets added to the difficult in navigating around the area.
I eventually found the building on main street. There wasn’t a lot of parking so, I was forced to drive around the block several times before settling on spot a few blocks away. I took my photos of the exterior of the building. When I was finished I walked up to the front door thinking it was open and I’d able to see the lobby. Unfortunately, the doors were locked, and I was met with skepticism as the lady inside did not buzz me in. Instead she approached the front door and just cracked it open enough to inquire what I wanted. This seemed a bit odd to me but I guess I hadn’t shaved and looked a bit out of character with my camera, tripod, wrinkly cloths and unshaven appearance. I wasn’t able to get inside the lobby and was told to visit the library for more information on the building.
Since I knew the artwork wasn’t here I wasn’t entirely disappointed. I’ve got to believe there are other people out there that are interested in this old building. I find it hard to believe I’m be the only one who has inquire about it just walking up to the front door. Maybe the lady at the door was unaware of the significance or history.
The building is now owed by a local TV station. It appears they may be trying to “hide” or cover up that it was once a post office. If you view the photos below you can see how they covered the engraved stone at the top of the building. It’s kinda funny but for some reason it wasn’t entirely covered and you can still see the “Office” towards the top right of the facade.
Can anyone shed some light on this? Why the mystery and cover up? Maybe the TV station is tired of getting people looking for the post office? Maybe the public still think it’s still a post office? Strange! What do you think? Please comment and share below.
Thanks for stopping by
After further research I’ve discovered the mural that once resided here has been moved to the Eastern Tennessee State University Charles C. Sherrod Library. So after a bit of driving around and trying to find a parking spot again. I found myself roaming the library. This is a really big place and I didn’t feel like aimlessly walking around with equipment so I asked at the front desk. I met a wonderful lady who graciously tried to find out more about the mural. I was also informed the mural now resides in the testing center.
One thing that struck me right away was how relative everything is. The Johnson City Post Office Mural is big, and I can only imagine how this must have looked inside the old building. However, after viewing this mural on the HUGE wall of the library, it also seemed small. This is what I mean when I mention how relative the setting makes when viewing art of this size. I’m sure the mural appeared large on the wall of the post office. Viewing it displayed on the wall in the library it almost seems small because of the massive space in the room. Does that make any sense? This is a big mural and I took a lot of photographs to get as much of the details as I could. I’m delighted the mural has been saved and protected within the confines of the University.
Charles C. Sherrod Library on the campus of Eastern Tennessee University. The mural resides on the first floor testing center towards the back as you enter the building. Please comment and share your impressions of this mural below.
“Used with the permission of the Eastern Tennessee State University®. All rights reserved.”
- Personal visit on 9/05/2014 and by David, Post Office Freak
- (affiliate link) Democratic Vistas: Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal: [Hardcover] Marlene Park, Gerald E. Markowitz
- Living New Deal at (http://www.livingnewdeal.org)
- (affiliate link): Tennessee Post Office Murals: Howard Hull